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28 Jul, 2020 23:45

Spoiler alert? Politico QUOTES Biden declaring Kamala Harris as his VP pick on August 1, kicking off rumor frenzy online

Spoiler alert? Politico QUOTES Biden declaring Kamala Harris as his VP pick on August 1, kicking off rumor frenzy online

The internet rumor mill was sent into overdrive after Politico published, and then swiftly deleted, a story announcing Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate, prompting speculation the outlet was privy to an insider leak.

For a brief time on Tuesday, a Politico story running down a list of likely VP picks for the Democratic nominee reported that Biden had chosen Harris, writing that the announcement came on August 1 – some five days after the article was originally published.

“In his announcement, Biden called Harris ‘a worthy opponent and a worthy running mate,’ alluding to the pair’s rivalry during the earlier stages of the Democratic primary,” the story said, mysteriously quoting from a campaign statement dated in the future.

While the story was quickly changed, replacing the text about Harris with a generic bio, and an editor’s note was added to the piece noting that a “technical error” caused the inaccurate reporting, the incident has sparked a wave of competing theories on social media.

Many rushed to speculate that the story was merely a draft template written ahead of time in the event Harris is announced as Biden’s running mate, a common practice in newsrooms intended to speed up the reporting process. The draft was merely published by accident, some theorized.

That answer was not satisfactory for some, however, as netizens pointed out that the Politico piece included specific information, such as a quote and date, suggesting the publication may have aired an insider campaign leak prematurely.

“Why would they have a quote from Biden calling Kamala Harris a ‘worthy opponent and a worthy running mate’? Unless Politico is in the businesses of faking quotes, this is real,” one user said. “It’s probably a press release from the Biden campaign that was embargoed but leaked.”

Others pushed back, elaborating on the ‘draft’ theory to argue that Politico may have placed “filler that they’re going to replace with the actual facts” once Biden’s announcement is actually made.

While the mystery has yet to be solved, with Politico’s brief editor’s note doing little to quell the confusion, some netizens couldn’t help but have fun with the anomaly, musing that the outlet may have figured out the secret to time travel.

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